Arts and Mental Health Project


The Healthy London Partnership is in partnership with Arts Council England and the Mayor of London, in order to develop projects from arts and cultural organisations that can help to improve the health and wellbeing of people with poor mental health in Southwark.


The Healthy London Partnership has been working with Southwark and Merton over the past year to help develop and test new, non-clinical ways of helping people with poor mental health. This is part of a wider programme concerned with scaling up and mainstreaming social prescribing and related models of personalised and preventive models of support that address the physical, psychological and social support needs of local residents.


The latest evidence points to the many connected ways in which the arts can help to improve health and wellbeing. Some of the most promising evidence relates to the role of the arts in promoting mental wellbeing. Arts activities show promise in being able to soothe the ‘fight or flight’ response, trigger the self-soothing (‘parasympathetic’) response, and help people reflect on and perceived difficulties and challenges in new ways.


The evidence proves that helping people to take actions speak to their emotional and practical priorities, in a safe, rich and a psychologically aware environment. This is especially true for those people who are still living with previous experiences of trauma.
This project will aim to enable local arts and cultural organisations to embed their work within existing artistic or wider support activities and services in Southwark and help make best use of evolving referral channels. In Southwark there is a particular focus on the current arts and health activity in the Dulwich and Walworth areas.


More context on the programme is found here: https://www.healthylondon.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Arts-and-Mental-Health-for-London-grant-funding-supporting-info.pdf

To read more about the project, please click here.